Coronavirus: Business Support

Our digest of available support for businesses and freelancers

Icon’s Coronavirus survey indicated that many conservators were in need of clarification of available Government support measures. 

This confirms Icon’s view that there is a notable demand for further business support advice to help people navigate and access different support options and is a call for action that has featured continuously in our recent lobbying and advocacy work.

To help our members and the wider sector, we have compiled a digest of available support for businesses and freelancers below.

UK Government financial support

  • HMG Business Support site: website to help you to find government support currently available to businesses. It is split into themes to help you find what you are looking for.
  • Find coronavirus financial support for your business - self checker: business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
  • Coronavirus Business Support blog: blog from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy featuring case studies from businesses who have or will be accessing government support and posts from different people across government and business.
  • UK Government Bounce Back Loan application guidance: for smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.
  • Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help eligible freelance workers claim for 80% of their average monthly trading profits. Applications for the third grant will open from 30 November 2020. 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The scheme is open until 31 January 2021.
  • Grant schemes - Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. These businesses will also have a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year.
  • HMT Future Fund - A package of measures to support pre-revenue firms such as innovative and competitive companies in the tech and creative sectors. The scheme is open for applications until 31 January 2021.

Devolved administrations

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. 

Self-Employed & Small Limited Company Help

  • Money Saving Expert guide with information about your rights as a self-employed person and what support's out there, including help for limited company directors and what to try if you're excluded from support.

Arms-length bodies

  • The Heritage Fund has announced that it will begin a phased reopening of project funding through its National Lottery Grants for Heritage. This will begin in late November 2020, when the Heritage Fund will start accepting applications for grants from £3,000 - £10,000 and £10,000 - £100,000. The second phase, for applications for grants over £100,000, is expected to begin in February 2021.
  • Museums Galleries Scotland overview of available funding programmes.
  • Built Environment Forum Scotland: funding advice and summary. 
  • Creative Scotland grants for small businesses & existing grant holders.
  • Arts Council England grants for creative businesses in England. 

Other business support

  • Construction Industry Helpline: Telephone helpline and app for the construction industry delivering emotional and financial support including information, advice and guidance on many financial and wellbeing topics. 
  • The Art Newspaper advice on financial aid for the self-employed and small businesses.